Sens Sign Clarke MacArthur

The Sens have signed left winger Clarke MacArthur to a 2 year, $6.5 million dollar contract . After spending his career in Buffalo, Atlanta and Toronto, the 28 year-old finally has a chance to play with a decent hockey team. During his time in Toronto, MacArthur primarily played on the team's second line with Grabovski and Kulemin, who were always the team's best possession line. 

The gritty winger has also put up good offensive numbers in Toronto, finishing 2nd, 4th and 9th among forwards in 5-on-5 scoring rate. He was not used on the penalty kill during the last 3 years, and was a 2nd PP option during the last years after being used on the first unit in 2010-11.

Here are his WOWY charts sice 2010 via stats.hockeyanalysis.com (CF% is Corsi For %, and GF% is Goals For%)

  With MacArthur   MacArthur Without   Teammate Without  
Player GF% CF% GF% CF% GF% CF%
GRABOVSKI 56.6 55.2 49.3 45.6 49.5 46.8
KULEMIN 58.7 53.3 48.4 50 45.9 43.9
PHANEUF 60 51.4 51.7 52 44.3 45.4
GUNNARSSON 52.5 53.2 54.8 51.3 48.8 45.5
SCHENN 53.2 54.5 54.5 50.8 46.2 46.7
KADRI 71.9 47.4 51.1 52.6 55.1 48.8
KOMISAREK 48.8 48.6 55.5 52.4 38.9 44.8
LILES 43.2 50.9 56.4 51.9 46.3 47.6
FRANSON 50 48.9 54.6 52.2 55.1 49.8
GARDINER 59.4 56.2 53.3 51.1 47.6 47.4
KABERLE 58.3 54.4 53.6 51.4 52.7 47.8
KESSEL 47.8 51.4 54.9 51.8 48.1 47.2

During his time in Toronto, just about every one of his teammates outscored and had much better puck possession numbers when they were with MacArthur as opposed to when they were not. The exception is he and Grabovski, who were fantastic together, but a lot worse apart. This raises the question of whether he and Grabovski had really good chemistry together, or if it's because they were playing with poorer linemates when they were serperated. 

One good sign is that he did very good in terms of zone entries, indicating that he was doing a good job of driving the offense.

Draglikepull (a blogger at Pension Plan Puppets) talked about that in a post on MacArthur from March, saying "During his first year in Toronto it was thought by many people (including me) that MacArthur's Corsi numbers were being driven up by playing with Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolai Kulemin. It's become clear in subsequent years that this is not hte case; he is a strong driver of possession in his own right."

So where does MacArthur fit on this team? Considering how much they're paying him, the first thing that comes to mind is on the second line alongside Turris and Zibanejad. But MacArthur is a very versitile player, so his speed and strong possession play could be very valuable on a two-way finesse line with Pageau and Condra, or on a checking line with Smith and Neil.

My initial opinion is that this deal seems like fair value, and that MacArthur is a great fit for MacLean's system. Even though there may be some risk as to how well he does without Grabovski, this is still a good deal for a guy who puts up good offensive numbers and is able to drive puck possession.

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